That's the conclusion of Politico's Roger Simon:
The real problem for McCain is that Palin is running a separate--and
scary--campaign that does not seem to be under anybody’s control.
She storms around the country saying: “Our opponent ... is someone who
sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough that
he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.
You can stop checking Gallup, Zogby, et al.--what may be the most reliable poll available has Barack Obama crushing John McCain next month.
Here's LA Times political blogger (and former Laura Bush press secretary!) Andrew Malcolm arguing that the press isn't paying enough attention to nastiness among opponents of John McCain and Sarah Palin:
As a growing number of political bloggers,
including Wake Up America, have asked in recent hours, how long do you
think before the mainstream media starts reporting on scenes like a
Philadelphia event on Saturday where people wore T-shirts that bore an
explicitly crude reference to Sarah Palin? With 22 campaign days left,
might perhaps the Democratic ticket also feel the need to warn its
supporters to tone it down?
It seems that John McCain's brand-new stump speech actually leans heavily on an old McCain argument--namely, that the opposition includes both Barack Obama AND that pesky Fourth Estate:
Let me give you the state of the race today. We have 22 days to go.
We're 6 points down. The national media has written us off. Senator Obama is measuring the drapes, and planning with Speaker
Pelosi and Senator Reid to raise taxes, increase spending, take away
your right to vote by secret ballot in labor elections, and concede
defeat in Iraq.
At first I thought today's Frank Rich column would stand as the definitive take on the McCain-Palin campaign's descent into incendiary xenophobia. But it's already outdated!. From CNN's The Ticker:
A minister delivering the invocation at John McCain’s rally in Davenport, Iowa Saturday told the crowd non-Christian religions around the world were praying for Barack Obama to win the U.
So, John McCain has heeded his former chief strategist's advice and called out supporters who were engaging in over-the-top anti-Obama vitriol:
McCain was booed at a town-hall meeting here [in Lakeville, MN] when he rebuked a man who said he was "scared…to bring a child up" under an Obama presidency. "I have to tell you he is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared of as president of the United States," McCain said to audible disapproval.
This Politico piece by Jonathan Martin, who's been covering the Republicans during the presidential campaign, is an absolute must-read. First off, his description of the anger he's been seeing on the trail is chilling:
With McCain passing up the opportunity to level any tough personal
shots in his first two debates and the very real prospect of an Obama
presidency setting in, the sort of hard-core partisan activists who
turn out for campaign events are venting in unusually personal terms.
In which, among other things, I examine why people flipped out over Gwen Ifill last week, but keep quiet about Bob Schieffer in '04. (BTW, Schieffer's also moderating the third presidential debate nPublishext week.)
As Election Day gets closer and John McCain struggles to close the gap with Barack Obama, expect McCain and his surrogates to lean even more heavily on the William Ayers argument--wherein Obama's association with Ayers renders him unfit for the presidency.
Here's why this line of reasoning is nonsensical. Obama and Ayers met while working together on the Annenberg Challenge , an initiative funded by the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, which was funded by the Annenberg Foundation, which was created by Walter H.
Today on Morning Edition, NPR's Renee Montagne reported from a debate-viewing party for undecided voters last night in New Mexico, a battleground state where Barack Obama currently has a slight edge. It strikes me as odd that anyone's still undecided, but get that some people might still be weighing the pros and cons of each candidate: maybe you like Obama's call for change but see McCain as more experienced.
Today on Salon, Gary Kamiya makes a convincing connection between John McCain's new win-at-all-costs strategy and the approach Barry Goldwater used during the final days of his '64 run against Lyndon Johnson:
In fall 1964, Barry Goldwater was tanking in the polls, hammered by the media and by his Democratic opponent, Lyndon Johnson, as a radical who might start a nuclear war and would threaten cherished social programs like Social Security.
As you watch the McCain campaign's late push to tie Barack Obama to William Ayers, and the Obama camp's response, and sundry attempts to say whether the charge is true or false, here's something to keep in mind: among conservatives, McCain and his surrogates may actually benefit from leveling charges that are promptly deemd false.
Please, take a look.
First, here's a brief timeline that puts the story of the day in context:
July 23: A Washington Times piece on Tavis Smiley quotes Gwen Ifill and identifies her as "author of "The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama."
August 5: The St. Louis Business Journal reports that Ifill's been tapped as the moderator for the VP debate.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Maureen Dowd has been barred from John McCain's campaign plane. Here's the explanation, from the Post-Gazette's Timothy McNulty:
It all started when Maureen covered an Aug. 30 McCain-Palin rally in Washington, Pa., then wasn't let on the McCain plane afterward, forcing her to overnight at a Pittsburgh airport hotel while the traveling press went on without her.